The Siberian Bear



The canals (and ponds) froze!

We’ve heard rumor of this, but it hasn’t been cold enough for long enough to make it a reality. I don’t think the canals in Amsterdam have been frozen enough to skate/walk on since 2012, so I imagine it’s safe to say that for Groningen as well. But, thanks to the “Siberian Bear” (as the Dutch are calling it) it’s been cold (and I mean COLD) enough to cause a deep freeze and pull out the skates!

One of the largest canals in the city, the Verbindingskanaal.

The cold weather has been fun for freezing things over, but not so fun to commute in when your commute includes a 20 min. walk (or bike ride in Shane’s case). In weather like this we always think of our friend, Alicia (yes… Alicia – you lol). When she was visiting over the summer a few years ago she made the comment “Biking here isn’t so bad.” Peak summer. Beautiful weather. When the wind chill is -18°C (-1°F) and blowing so hard that you’re simultaneously sweating profusely and turning into a popsicle; it’s those moments that we look at each other through squinty eyes, head turned to the side so you can actually hear each other, and say “Yeah Alicia! Biking here is NOT THAT BAD!”

It’s OK, Alicia – we get a good laugh out of it. (Love ya!)


This was definitely a lifetime first for us – walking on natural ice. We both compared it to walking on those glass floors at tourist destinations, except you know the glass floor isn’t going to break. No guarantees for the ice I suppose.

Shane was a little more nervous that I was. “Did you hear that crack?!”

Canal Walking Zernike – 03Mar18

Alas, as of today the bear has officially moved on. We are back to normal, up to 6°C (43F°). It was fun while it lasted, it’s just too bad it didn’t last long enough to make the Elfstedentocht possible.


Tot ziens,



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